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Sparrow Trapped in the Airport


Never the bark and abalone mask
Cracked by storms of a mastering god,
Never the gods' favored glamour, never
The pelagic messenger bearing orchards
In its beak, never allegory, not wisdom
Or valor or cunning, much less hunger
Demanding vigilance, industry, invention,
Or the instinct to claim some small rise
Above the plain and from there to assert
The song of another day ending;
Lentil-brown, uncounted, overlooked
In the clamorous public of the flock
So unlikely to be noticed here by arrivals,
Faces shining with oils of their many miles,
Where it hops and scratches below
The baggage carousel and lights too high,
Too bright for any real illumination,
Looking more like a fumbled punch line
Than a stowaway whose carriage
Recalls how lightly we once traveled.


Averill Curdy

Song & Error
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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